The Affiliate Life

The Affiliate Life: Clueless and desperate, some lessons learned

Over the Christmas period, I had a couple of exciting conversations that could have opened up opportunities to grow this project at a rate of knotts – I’m talking about investment. Now, this is where I fall short in my levels of experience and I think that showed.  

The glitz and glamour of potential investment from my end of the bargain looks all too attractive when you have no clue what you’re doing and especially when I’ve personally got the business budget the size of an in-play free bet bonus. When you really think about this and actually have it laid out for you in the form of advice and help from others in the know, it’s easy to see how people can be consumed by the riches that companies throw at you. 

So there have been multiple conversations with different interested parties, who I imagine have seen an opportunity here. It’s evident that when you sit at the top end of the financial foodchain your outlook on risk becomes a little different to us folk at the bottom. I have been reminded that those who look down on the hapless entrepreneur, often forget that we have everything to lose. Yet these people will happily remind us, that our businesses (in financial terms) are in the short term worthless and they are taking the biggest risk, for what is likely to be a month’s interest on the millions sat in their savings accounts. Now I’m generalising here, I know that’s not how every investor sees this kind of opportunity, but nevertheless, some do!

It’s flattering, but a healthy reminder of why I am doing this! Because I believe I have the skills and ideas to build this into a power affiliate project. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, a couple of those interested gave me a well-needed confidence boost in the form of honest opinions of what I’ve built so far and some healthy valuations of what they might pay if I sold it to them right now lock-stock as a zero earning project. 

“You’ve got a great domain and a great site” from one of the conversations.

“To be ranked where you are in less than a year is impressive” from another

A moment of weakness I think they call it. 

But on reflection, it’s actually opened my eyes to the notion of building a project with the help of an investor and perhaps it’s the right time to think about that? 

The most important piece of advice I’ve been given in this whole saga is asking myself this… what do I need? 

I think this is easily mistaken for, what do I want. 

You see I want a team of 10 frontend web and app developers, a million-pound marketing budget, a data science team running prediction algorithms that pick selections within 60% accuracy or above. But I wouldn’t be able to manage that right now, I’m not a CEO and therein lies the need.

I need to grow this project with a view to becoming that CEO, because I know the market is there for huge expansion, if you can see the numbers I’m looking at ie global soccer stats searches, esports growth, horse racing, cricket etc which could all fall under my banner, you will understand how big this can be and I need to grow into that role without letting it get away from me because of an irresponsible snap decision made under the influence of investor interest.

So what I need is a chance to grow me, as well as the business. 

We can easily speculate on £1million marketing budgets each month with brandless websites that are there as pure paid landing page projects, but that’s not what I need. I need to learn the economics of building this business, so that when it comes to the big budget decisions, I’m ready to make educated assessments of what to do and those decisions will be responsible. 

So that was that, a brush with greatness or a lucky escape? 

You decide. 

I’m still talking to a couple of potential investors and those conversations are more considerate of what I have already built. So hopefully more to come on that front as we continue this story, of my Affiliate Life.

As for where I’m at at the minute, I’m still struggling to get operators onboard. 

If you’ve got a junior affiliate executive team – get them into some sort of training like AMPP to do better affiliate account management! 

I’ve managed to get accounts with 9 betting sites and they’ve gone live on the site since the last episode. 3 more are pending final approval likely to go through this week. But the sheer ignorance from others is baffling, whereby they advertise their affilaite@thebettingsite address on their site and do not respond to either direct email or new registrations. 

I won’t name names because it’s not appropriate… ah – to  hell with it! To be frank, it seems the bigger brands are too busy to respond or can’t be bothered to engage in simple conversation. Administration needs to be reviewed – ex. I’m sending emails to an affiliate team and they’re sending them back saying they don’t know what to do because my account username has been used already and they can’t unlock it for me -er…  its my own affiliate account!. Never mind the endless waiting time to get in the door of over 30 days, and still no contact!!! Do brands still want to work with affiliates I wonder? 

Aside from that… how are we really doing?

The growth continues, see the image below: 


I attracted 30k visitors in December and I’m on target to almost double that in January, which I’m forecasting could be in the region of 55k visitors. Whether they are unique or not is up for debate, I’m not the biggest fan of Google Analytics, it’s not reliable in that sense, but as it’s my only analytics, I’m being consistent and GA says they’re unique. The bounce rate is 50% which means there’s some room for improvement, perhaps in the page speed or the actual on page product offering, a really good bounce rate is around 35%. An average 4 minutes session duration is really telling, visitors are actually checking out the content and maneuvering about the site according to the 2.7 page views. 

As for converting that traffic, I earned 2 FTDs in December and I’m predicting the addition of 20k new visitors this month will give me another 4 players, so 6 in total so far. I’ve signed up 2 players already this month, which means I’m halfway to that target and my calculations are likely to be correct. I’m converting at about 0.065% which is pitiful in reality, but it’s a start. It’s a measurable model that I can theoretically scale. There’s a long road ahead, but with tangible evidence of traffic converting into FTDs, I can look at the future and see where I can move those needles, where is the traffic, where can I rank and where can I convert.

Well first up my traffic is growing globally, with content being consumed in the US, Africa and India. So the question is not how to grow that traffic, it’s how to optimise it with the best ads. I’d really like to hear from anyone who has experience doing this already, grab me on Linkedin or email.

And hopefully, I can give you more progress updates on FTDs in next month’s feature. 

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